Mandarin House sports new Tony Gwynn mural

mural of padres player Tony Gwynn on side of mandarin house restaurant in La Jolla

A new Tony Gwynn mural at Mandarin House on La Jolla Boulevard is now finished.

Two weeks after Mandarin House owner Nelson Law won a contest for a new mural sponsored by Ground Floor Murals in partnership with AleSmith Brewing Company, the image depicting Tony Gwynn mural in honor of the 25th anniversary of the late, famed San Diego Padres player’s 3,000th hit is complete.

“We love the mural,” Law said. “I think it turned out great. I’ve enjoyed seeing Tony Gwynn staring back at me as I drive down the boulevard.”

“The location is really nice,” Paul Jimenez of Groundfloor Murals said, adding that many will be able to see the piece just passing by.

Jimenez and Signe Ditona, co-owners of Groundfloor, “started our career here in San Diego,” Jimenez said, with a 2020 mural of Tony Gwynn in the City Heights neighborhood.

The Mandarin House mural is Groundfloor’s first in La Jolla. 

“It was really exciting for us to depict Tony Gwynn there,” Jimenez said. “I think a lot of the community would also feel the same way, and would like to … have that representation in that part of town.”

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jimenez and Ditona were both restaurant servers who found themselves laid off in the same week.

“We started drawing every day,” Jimenez said, a pastime that evolved into using spray paint to create various murals in family members’ backyards and alleyways until they parlayed the skill into paid work.

“It just kept going,” he said. “It came out of nowhere, and four years later, here we are.”

“The team at Groundfloor murals did an amazing job,” Law said. “I didn’t realize you could get such detail with spray paint.”

Law has received a lot of positive feedback from people, he said. “It makes a great addition to the neighborhood.”

The Mandarin House mural – and a second Tony Gwynn mural at Bottle Rocket in Downtown San Diego, also a contest winner – will be showcased on the labels of AleSmith Brewing’s upcoming “Mr. Padre” beers honoring Gwynn, the company wrote in a Facebook post.

Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.
Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.

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